Food & Drink Magazine

Pot Roasted Chicken with Apples and Cider

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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As you all know I had a lovely visit to the Yeo Valley Farms a few weeks ago which the Toddster and I both thoroughly enjoyed.  There is something really special about going to see where your food comes from, and it's even more special when you are able to see the extra care and attention some producers put into what they produce.  I think with Yeo Valley this extends to every portion of their huge operation.  I can say this because several months back I had purchased their cookery book from  When it arrived there were a few blank pages in it that had not printed.
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I contacted the Yeo Valley people just on the off chance that they would be able to provide me with the missing recipes and they sent me a whole brand new cookbook, which they really didn't have to do!  I have to say though, that I did appreciate the extra care and when I visited their farm operation, they actually remembered me, which is another plus as far as I am concerned.  Everyone likes to know that they are remembered.  I do at any rate!
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I had been eyeballing this recipe in the book for quite some time.  Pot Roasted Chicken with Cider and Apples.  It was calling my name.  I was just waiting for the perfect weather to cook it and with the cooling temps the time was just right!
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Because we are Mormons, we don't drink alcohol in our home, but I am not adverse to cooking with it.  MY Bishop's wife down south did and so if she thought it was ok, that was enough for me.  This recipe calls for a quantity of good apple cider, which is alcoholic, but if you were not wanting to use cider, you could use a good quality apple juice . . .
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You saute some fabulous aromatics in the pot . . . bacon lardons, onions, garlic, rosemary . . . and then you add the cider and reduce it somewhat . . .  the well seasoned chicken is then placed on top, a quantity of chicken stock poured over all and then it is oven braised for a time . . .
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Until the chicken is tender and moistly cooked through . . . and the sauce filled with all of the juices from the chicken, combined with that lovely reduction you began with.  Whilst the chicken is braising you saute  dessert apples in butter until they are golden brown . . .
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Once the chicken is done, you remove it to rest and then created a delicious sauce with the braising liquid, cream, and those tender and golden sauteed apples . . .you then serve the chicken in tender moist slices, with some of that lucious sauce spooned over top . . .
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Just look at that gorgeous sauce and tender chicken . . . with it's chunks of sweet apple, bits of bacon . . . a creamy and unctuously  wonderful combination that is quite, quite pleasing.  I do hope you will put this on your list of autumnal bakes this year.   You will NOT be disappointed if you do.  Trust me on this.
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*Pot Roasted Chicken with Apples and Cider*Served 4  Printable Recipe  
This smells heavenly when you are preparing it and the end result is a terrifically moist roasted chicken with a beautiful sauce.  
1 TBS sunflower oil1 medium sized roasting chicken(about 4 lbs, free range and organic if possible)175g bacon lardons (about 6 ounces)1 large brown onion, peeled and coarsely chopped8 small cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced2 fresh sprigs of rosemary, leaves strippedand roughly chopped250ml of good quality apple cider (9 fluid ounces)150ml of good quality chicken stock (5 fluid ounces)4 small dessert apples (eating apples)50g butter, softened (3 1/2 TBS) and divided2 tsp caster sugarfreshly grated nutmeg15g plain flour (2 1/2 TBS)2 TBS double cream1 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsleyfine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Place the oil into a small flameproof casserole or roaster which is large enough to fit the chicken snugly.  
Season the chicken both inside and out with some salt and black pepper.   Brown it on all sides in the heated oil in the casserole.   Once it is browned all over, remove to a plate and set aside.  Add the bacon lardons and brown them over medium heat until golden brown.  Toss in the onions.  Cook and stir for a few minutes longer until they begin to soften.  Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, for several minutes longer.   Add the cider.   Cook over high heat at a vigorous boil until the liquid has reduced by two thirds. Place the chicken back into the casserole.  Pour the stock over top.  Cover with a layer of aluminum foil and place the lid snugly on top.  Place into the preheated oven and roast for 1 hour.  
While the chicken is cooking, peel, core and quarter the apples.   Melt half of the butter in a nonstick frying pan.   Add the apples and fry them for a few minutes, until they begin to brown.  Turn the slices over and sprinkle over the sugar and nutmeg.  Continue to cook for several minutes longer until they are nicely golden and tender.  Remove from the heat. 
When the chicken is cooked through and tender, lift it out onto a large board.  Cover tightly with foil and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.  Put the flameproof casserole over medium heat and simmer until the cooking juices are reduced and full of lovely flavours.  Rub the remaining butter and the flour together.   Drop this into the reduced chicken juices, whisking constantly, simmering until the mixture has thickend nicely.  Whisk in the double cream and then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary with salt and black pepper.  Stir in the parsley and the apple.   
To serve, carve the chicken into nice pieces and divide between 4 heated plates.  Spoon over the sauce and serve. 
I like to have this with some boiled baby potatoes, and peas and carrots.  But mash  and steamed broccoli would go equally well!  It's delicious no matter what!

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